They Shall Not Have Me by Jean Helion
The Capture, Forced Labor, and Escape of a French Prisoner in World War II

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 1 Critic Review

...his earlier aim, to seek "a magnificent concordance between modernism and classicism," is fully realized as he pays tribute to the humanity with whom he shared those nightmare years.
-WSJ online

Synopsis

The French painter Jean Hélion’s unique and deeply moving account of his experiences in Nazi prisoner-of-war camps prefigures the even darker stories that would emerge from the concentration camps. This serious adventure tale begins with Hélion’s infantry platoon fleeing from the German army and warplanes as they advanced through France in the early days of the war. The soldiers chant as they march and run, “They shall not have me!” but are quickly captured and sent to hard labor. 

Writing in English in 1943, after his risky escape to freedom in the United States, Hélion vividly depicts the sights, sounds, and smells of the camps, and shrewdly sizes up both captors and captured. In the deep humanity, humor, and unsentimental intelligence of his observations, we can recognize the artist whose long career included friendships with the likes of Mondrian, Giacometti, and Balthus, and an important role in shaping modern art movements. Hélion’s picture of almost two years without his art is a self-portrait of the artist as a man.

 

About Jean Helion

See more books from this Author
Jean Hélion was a noted French modernist painter and author. He was a member of the Free French Forces during World War II. His work later influenced Roy Lichtenstein, Nell Blaine, and Leland Bell-it can be seen at the Museum of Modern Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Tate Gallery in London. He died in 1987. Deborah M. Rosenthal is Consulting Editor for the series. She is a painter who has shown in New York and nationally during the past twenty-five years. For her writing on art in many journals, including Art in America and Modern Painters, she won an NEA Critic’s Grant. She is Professor of Fine Arts in the School of Fine and Performing Arts of Rider University. Jacqueline Hélion, the widow of the painter, lives in Paris.
 
Published June 3, 2014 by Arcade Publishing. 465 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Travel, War, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for They Shall Not Have Me
All: 1 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 0

WSJ online

Good
Reviewed by Martica Sawin on Jul 12 2012

...his earlier aim, to seek "a magnificent concordance between modernism and classicism," is fully realized as he pays tribute to the humanity with whom he shared those nightmare years.

Read Full Review of They Shall Not Have Me: The C... | See more reviews from WSJ online

Reader Rating for They Shall Not Have Me
90%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 5 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review
×